The Rapture! Is it Biblical and what does it mean? This is a
controversial subject that has a various number of ideas, depending upon who you're listening to. It really isn't a salvational matter in that one will not go to Heaven based
upon their belief in an actual rapture, but on the other hand, since it is in the Bible, we should know what God meant when He gave us His word. So with the times as they are, I want to show the readers what Scriptures say about the Rapture, even if it takes more time than this one article.
The word rapture is not found in the Bible, but just as the word trinity isn't in there, the idea of it is taught in Scriptures. The word is gotten from a number of passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 which says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" It is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52 which says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and
we shall be changed." What it means is that when Christ returns, all of the saved who have died will be raised and transformed into a glorious state, along with the saved that are living, and then be caught up to be with Christ. The position, now known as the "pre-tribulational" view, according to those that believe in it, claim that the rapture would occur
before the period of persecution begins. Of course there are some that don't believe this and others that are post- trib or mid-trib as well. However, the evidence appears to be that this teaching is as follows and I believe that we are on the verge of a literal pre-trib rapture as you read this. But as I stated earlier, I know that there are many that simply deny
these teachings altogether.
I want to begin by mentioning that the Book of Revelation and Daniel, two prophetical Books of the Bible, will be looked at intensely in this study. The key to this is found on Daniel 12:4, 9 and 10, "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase... And he said,
“Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do
wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." Look at the times in which we live, the explosion of knowledge in the last hundred years and the speed of travel back and forth these days and one would not be able to deny that these are the days referred to by Daniel.
The "why" behind my article is found in Luke 19:41 and 42, which says: "Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes." Jesus was referring to that the Jews should have known that He was the coming Messiah back when He came the first time because they had the Old Testament Scriptures and the prophets. So here we are nearly 2000 years later and although Jesus told us that, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." in Matthew 24:36, we cannot forget, Jesus also told us, "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place." (Matthew 24:32-34)
The fig tree is often referred to as the nation of Israel (see Luke 13: 6, 7 for an example) In 1948 Israel came back as a nation and the generation that saw that should see the rest as well. I will explain that later. Now there are many that believe these things in the Book of Revelation are spoken in a
symbolic way, spiritualizing it, but the Scriptures always
explain themselves whenever they are spoken in this method. Some examples of this are found in the parables of Matthew 13. Another is found in Revelation 12 where the fiery, red dragon of verse 3 is told to be the Devil and Satan in verse 9. The problem with claiming that much of the Bible is symbolic is that people tend to not care about just symbolism as such. They want facts. That is why books like the Left Behind series, sold so well. It was a fictional book based on the facts of the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation is a prophetic book of mankind best understood in Revelation 1:19 which says, “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place
after this” John writes of the things that he saw, the church age and the time after the church age, our future. It also tells us, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” So just as the rest of Scripture is written as the authoritative letter of God, likewise, the Book of Revelation has much to tell us, about the Rapture and beyond and for us to search and believe.
Maybe this article will help the reader to start taking God’s word seriously, and they will join us for part two next month. There is much more to be said.